The vision and the foresight to carry a dream from conception to fruition are what separate the average and the amazing. The doers.
But, what happens when you find yourself too paralysed to execute the dream, when the energy and excitement you would usually get from your work is suddenly not there anymore. When, in Shonda Rhymes’ words, “the work you love starts to taste like dust? When you are overcome by a feeling of “nimbleness” that you cannot even explain?”
I watched a TED Talk by Shonda Rhymes titled My Year of Saying Yes To Everything. During the talk, Shonda talks about the “HUM”. The “HUM,” according to Shonda, is the energy and excitement she feels when she is deeply engaged in an activity that brings her joy or love. I did not know what to call it until I listened to Shonda’s TED Talk, I knew I was missing something but could not quite figure out what it was that I was missing. The HUM. I was missing the HUM. Once I realised what it was that I had lost, what I was missing, it became easier for me to try and deal with it. To try and “fix it”.
The first step was to try to find out why I felt as though I was missing my HUM, what had caused this to happen. Earlier this year, after completing my 3 year under-grad degree, I moved back home and I guess I did not realise how big a change this actually was going to be. Starting off my post-grad studies while being a full time employee was an adjustment I was not properly prepared for, so I found myself feeling as though I was existing instead of living. I had told myself “Many people do it Noemi. You are not the first and you definitely will not be the last.” But the truth is people adjust to different situations differently and it is okay to seek help.
After realising the root of my problems, I took the necessary steps in order to fix it. This included better time management in juggling work and my studies, I reached out to some of my closest friends and was reminded that there are people who really care about you and are rooting for you because they want you to win so when your strength withers, you can lean on them.
I had to remind myself what was important, why I had chosen to do what I do and what it is that I was hoping to achieve. Once I was able to answer these questions, I could feel myself regaining my sense of purpose.
There is no one who will feed the yearning. Face it. You will have to do it yourself. – Gloria E. Anzaldua
As I continued to work towards regaining my HUM, I noticed the change happening, I began to love my work again, my studies, my life and the future I was building for myself. I started feeling like myself again. By critically assessing where I was falling short and unpacking the ways in which I was dishonouring myself, I was able to find myself again.
Prayer and devotion played a big part in my restoration.
The journey does not end here, however. As I get older and face many other changes, I feel I am now better equipped to deal with the challenges that might come my way. Maya Angelou once wrote, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” These are words I now try to live by.
I have always been an A student and I am the hardest working woman I (after my mom), and even though this year I felt as though I dropped the ball in some aspects of my life, I have learned to be kinder to myself and to recognise and acknowledge my achievements. Big and small. I have achieved a lot this year and I need to allow myself to celebrate these achievements while I work on doing better in the areas in which I feel I could have done better.
So in 2018 I am going to continue participating in the manifestation of my blessings, rebrand myself and invest in my goals and dreams. I need to be willing to give myself a thousand second chances and every time I get to 999, I press reset. I am my own rescue. I am my biggest commitment.
Letter to myself
Forgive yourself and be gentle with yourself. Anything and anyone who costs you your peace is not worth it, so be committed yourself by focusing on your happy. Sometimes you will win and other times you will fall hard. It is up to you to continuously fight for what you want. You have no idea how many people are watching and rooting for you, but also remember that hyping yourself up is essential to your success. Your outstanding talents and qualities put you into a category of your own, so remain consistent in spite of complications. Be about something. Be counted when the world speaks of young, black and gifted.
About the author
Noémi Muya holds a BA Law qualification from NWU and is currently completing her LLB degree at University of South Africa.
She currently works as a legal intern at Lawyers for Human Rights, an organisation focused on public interest activism and litigation in South Africa.
As a side hustle, she is a Managing Director at Forage Fodder Livestock NPC , a communal area livestock feeding and business.
She is also a contributor for King Gina’s World, A blog that focuses on luxury brands, successful women and Africa. Her interests lie in Corporate Law, women empowerment and Financial education.